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NZSS President's Report 2013

A rainy day today as I write this after the North Island's biggest drought in 30 years, but I guess that means there's been lots of fine weather for us to get out into and take great 3d!

It's struck me how quickly film photography is becoming a distant memory as we move on relentlessly into the era of digital 3D photography. With the NZ combined folio in circulation I reckon we're managing this transition pretty well. The internationals are following more slowly as the best way to accommodate digital is worked through. The best format in which to supply images is still discussed though it seems to be inevitable that a widescreen crop, in keeping with TV's and movie screens, will prevail. I don't personally see any need to fly the flag for film, good riddance I say, digital will only continue to improve. Though I sure wish stereo cameras would improve too. With only 2 mainstream point and shoot cameras on the market to choose from - if you can get them - it's impossible to take pictures of the same technical quality that was offered by SLR cameras such as the RBT. On the other hand it's quicker, easier and a whole lot cheaper to take 3D pics. In my photo of Kaito jumping off a sand dune I snapped about 40 images so that I could choose the best one, in the old days with the cost of film I might have shot only 2 or 3 frames. So in many instances a great result can be achieved when compared to a film camera but we have to work within different limitations. I'm sure in the future another RBT will emerge, converting high quality cameras into stereo cameras (for those of us Max who can't make our own).

For me there is one area where film is still superior to digital, and that's viewing. While 3D TV's and the like are getting better, my favourite method for viewing 3D is still the handheld viewer. There's no setup required and it's immersive. At last years AGM Carl brought along the Sony HMZ-T1 a head mounted immersive display that I think is a pointer toward what we may be using in the near future. I tried it in Japan and was very impressed and will be interested to hear if Carl's been able to make it work for still images. - Sony's follow-up, the HMZ-T2 though doesn't appear to have made any gains in portability, ease of use or resolution. The Oculus Rift head mounted display under development seems to hold a lot of promise, it's certainly got a more catchy name.

I'm sure too that it's the unavailability of quality cameras that's discouraging photography enthusiasts to join clubs such as ours - a recent resurgence in all things 3D hasn't had a lot of effect on our membership numbers to date. Digital 3D is in its infancy really, as it matures people who want more from their 3D photography will emerge, and if serious equipment becomes available then people with a technical interest (such is the case with many of our members) will be attracted too.
This would be an opportunity to thank Marc Dawson for his quiet contribution to the club. The website that he has set up and solely maintains is excellent, he's put a lot of time into it and I think represents the club well. It will be the front door for most prospective members. I've also nicked a couple of details from it to put this letter together. (established 1924 really!! - can someone fill me in on the history next meeting?). It could be further improved if other members contributed images and info to it, I know Marc would be receptive to this. Visit the website at:

Really special thanks is due to Max. Where would we be without him? Almost singlehandedly dragging the club kicking and screaming into the 3D digital future. He's provided the equipment and expertise at our twice yearly meetings as well as hosting projection nights in between times for those of us who don't live too far away. He also organises our often imperfectly prepared images into a presentation suitable for the ISU Code folios, and proactively keeps us up to date via email on ISU happenings, and other items of interest to the stereo photographer.

Thanks too to those that are the hub of this club, John, Jack et al. And those who kindly invited us into their homes in 2012 - John and Lenva Calcott for the April AGM, and Judy and Dave Fentress for the November meeting. And thanks to those who brought and prepared the yummy food we enjoyed at these meetings.

Sorry to hear of Rex Julien's ill health. He's a great character, the heart and soul of the club in many ways. I hear he's taking it quietly at home.

Good luck for those who have entered the Southern Cross Stereo competition this year, entries close/closed on the 25th March. In 2012 Carl and Max both got Acceptances for 2 images each, I got an acceptance for one image which also got an honourable mention. It's easy to enter the competition thanks to email, payment's easy too with Paypal. The competition provides great motivation to go out and shoot some fresh 3D.

Duncan Jones 19 March 2013.

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